All law enforcement authorities, including the police, are bound by the law to treat all individuals as equals. If the police suspect you of committing a crime and a means to arrest you lawfully, they are not allowed to display discriminatory behavior. The discrimination can be concerning age, sex, ethnicity, religion, race, or nationality of an individual. No one can use a protected classification to discriminate against you during a criminal proceeding, and all actions by the police that do not abide by this rule violate your civil rights. We will take a closer look at what police discrimination means and your options if you face discriminatory policing.
Police Discrimination: What Is It?
Law enforcement agents like the state police can question individuals if they deem it necessary and arrest individuals they suspect of any violations of the law. However, this interaction, including all lines of questioning, should not be influenced by prejudice against you based on any protected classifications.
When this happens, it is imperative that you recognize all the patterns of police misconduct and it is very important for you to take appropriate legal actions to make sure such an incident does not occur again. All police officers are required to abide by these rules and regulations preventing discrimination, and any violation of a citizen’s civil rights is a legally punishable offense.
What Can You Do?
When you feel that a police officer has discriminated against you, you have the option of legal recourse. According to the Equality Act in the United States legislation, no police officer can discriminate against you directly or indirectly, and your rights are well-protected by the law.
If such an incident occurs, you can contact a civil rights lawyer or legal firm to discuss your options regarding filing an official complaint. Any complaint must be registered within a specified time frame, depending on evidence collection and case building. After evaluation of the possible courses of action, you may choose to file a lawsuit if you feel that your civil rights have been violated.
Examples of Police Discrimination
There are various forms of police discrimination that range from inappropriate questioning to excessive use of force, etc. Multiple examples exist throughout history, with discrimination based on religion, as in the discriminatory policing against Muslims in the post World Trade Center era, to the increasingly harsh behavior and discrimination against African-American individuals in the recent years.
There is also discrimination against immigrants based on their nationality and against individuals based on their sexual orientation. All the examples mentioned above constitute discriminatory policing and require prompt legal action to stop the misuse of the social justice system.
All forms of disability, whether physical or mental, are bound by the law to receive equal treatment. The Mental Health Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit discriminatory conduct by the police against such individuals. No abusive or uncivil behavior from the law enforcement authorities is allowed based on these criteria, even if the police interaction has a legitimate reason behind it.
- Mayor Brant Walker of Alton, Illinois.: Screen grab